Richard Davenport covers recruiting for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He is the host of Recruiting Thursday, a weekly radio show that airs from 7 to 8 p.m. on 92.1 FM in Fayetteville; 93.7 FM in Little Rock; 95.3 FM in Fort Smith; 96.3 FM in Hot Springs; 104.3 FM in Harrison/Mountain Home; and 106.9 FM in Arkadelphia.
The Recruiting Guy:
UA hoops targets perform well at camp
The Coach Wootten’s Top 150 Showcase in Mansfield, Texas, over the weekend featured many top prospects, including several University of Arkansas recruits.
While the event wasn’t an official McDonald’s All-American game evaluation event, analysts such as Nothing But Net Magazine’s Van Coleman were scouting the event.
Coleman has been scouting high school talent since 1976 and has been on the McDonald’s All-American Game selection committee since 1983.
He didn’t attend the event in-person but watched online, and he liked what he saw from Razorback wing commitment Chance Moore.
Moore, 6-5, 192 pounds, of Powder Springs (Ga.) McEachern, had other scholarship offers from schools such as LSU, Auburn, Alabama, Georgia, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Florida, Ole Miss, Clemson and South Carolina before pledging to the Hogs in August.
The future Razorback is going full speed after having his posterior cruciate ligament and a meniscus fray repaired last year.
During his team’s second game Saturday, Moore scored 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting with 7 rebounds and 3 assists.
ESPN rates Moore a 4-star prospect, No. 9 small forward and No. 44 overall recruit for the 2021 class. Coleman has him the No. 74 recruit nationally but sees him moving up in his rankings.
“Chance is a versatile swing man and is pushing for a top 50 spot nationally,” Coleman said. “He bounced back from sophomore injuries and is showing he is back and can explode to the rim and finish in traffic. He can create his own shot, has range, and he has solid ball skills and can put up points in a hurry.”
Shooting guard Trey Alexander, 6-5, 185, of Oklahoma City Heritage Hall, is an ESPN 4-star prospect, the No. 11 shooting guard and No. 40 nationally.
Coleman has Alexander the No. 99 overall recruit, but he could see a rise after this weekend’s showing where he helped his squad to the team championship of the event.
“Trey is a long and lanky wing, and has ability to finish with bounce and create space with a quick first step,” Coleman said. “He has solid range on his jumper and is pushing for a top 75-100 ranking.”
Alexander announced a top seven of Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Auburn, Georgia, Ole Miss and Grambling State in September.
Junior guard Nick Smith Jr., 6-5, 176, of Sylvan Hills, is rated ESPN’s No. 52 overall recruit in the 2022 class. Coleman ranks him No. 72 nationally.
“This lanky combo guard added four inches and 30 pounds from last year to push for a top 50 spot nationally,” Coleman said. “He has combo skills with range to three. He demonstrates a high basketball IQ and is an excellent distributor off the dribble.”
He has offers from Arkansas, Auburn, Georgetown, Alabama, St. Louis, Kansas State and others.
Little Rock Central guard Bryson Warren and Little Rock Christian guard Layden Blocker were two of 19 sophomores on the roster at the camp.
Warren, 6-2, 160, has offers from Arkansas, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, Oklahoma State and others. He averaged 14 points, 4 rebounds and 4.5 assists in two games on Sunday.
“Smart lead guard utilizes his 4.0 GPA to run the show,” Coleman said of Warren. “He has range to three and finishes in paint. Good passer who delivers the rock to the open man.”
Blocker, 6-2, 160, has offers from Arkansas, Auburn, St. John’s, TCU, Southern Miss, Tulane and others. Coleman liked his skill set and effort.
“Excellent ball handler and creator for his age who others like to play with,” Coleman said. “He plays hard on both ends and likes to push it in transition.”
While Warren and Blocker aren’t rated in the early small samplings of rankings for sophomores, Coleman believes they will be serious candidates to be ranked once the rankings are expanded.
“They show lots of promise and with continued development could be among the best in the rising sophomore class,” Coleman said.
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